Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Slow Cooked Lamb Curry

I love my slow cooker.  I spent way too much money on it, but I use it all the time.  I read somewhere that if you take the price of a pair of shoes and divide it by how many times you wear the shoes, then that is the actual price of the pair of shoes.  I am going to use the same logic on all my cooking tools.

It just makes me happy to be at work, knowing that when I'm done dealing with the nonsense that the day may hold and get back home again, dinner will be ready.  It's relaxing.  And lots of times my hands smell like the spice rub that I used on whatever I'm making, so I can go stick my hands in my co-workers face and make them jealous.  True story.  I do that.

This particular recipe is modified from William Sonoma's The New Slow Cooker Cookbook.  I also have William Sonoma's Essentials of Slow Cooking, which I think they no longer sell, but which is also a really good cookbook.  I like the William Sonoma cookbooks, because they have pictures.  I believe all cook books should have pictures, so I know if I did it REALLY WRONG. ("No?  This isn't supposed to be purple?  Hmm... Maybe I shouldn't eat it.")

This, however, was not wrong, and was enjoyed by all.  It was not too spicy or to curry-y.  In fact, next time I think I would add more curry.  But I like curry, so that's just me.

Making this recipe was actually inspired by my dad and my trip to Smelt Fest, where he told me he didn't like curry.  Which made me want curry.  Because I REALLY like curry.

This recipe can be prepared quickly before leaving for work.  And I do mean quickly, because I am always running late in the morning and do not wake up earlier to get stuff done.

Lamb and Spinach Curry
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 lb lamb shoulder, cut into 1 inch cubes.  (L) 
  • 2 tbsp salt, divided
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander 
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 shallots, chopped (L)
  • 1/2 head garlic, minced (L)
  • 2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 dried chillies, whole (L)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 6 cups spinach (L) 
  • 2 tbsp Garam Masala
  • 2 cups plain yogurt, or use the recipe for Yogurt Dipping Sauce

Place lamb in a large bowl and toss with 1 tbsp salt, garlic powder, onion powder, coriander, and pepper.

Warm oil in a large fry pan over medium high heat until hot.  Add the lamb and saute until just browned.  Transfer to your crock pot.

If necessary, add more oil to the pan and allow to heat back up.  Add the shallots and saute until they start to brown.  Add garlic and peppers and continue to cook until onions are golden.  Don't burn the garlic!  Stir in the ginger, cumin, and turmeric, and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.  Add broth and deglaze the pan, bringing the broth to a boil.  Pour over lamb in the crock pot.

Cover, and cook for 8-10 hours.

Once you are ready to eat, stir the spinach into the crock pot and allow to wilt, about 5 minutes more.  Mix in Garam Masala.  Serve over rice with yogurt.

I did use a bone in shoulder shank, and while I cut as much meat as I possibly could off the bone, I browned this as well and included it in the cooking.  I feel like a bone adds a lot of flavor and, while it takes away from the amount of meat you have, it's a good addition.  Plus, after it's been slow cooked, you can pull off the rest of the meat that you couldn't get off when it was raw!

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